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Kate Battle

Craft and design
Craft and design


Kate Battle has been involved in book arts and education since 1995. She studied photography and art history at Concordia University and bookbinding with Louise Genest and Nicole Billard. She has taken pop-up paper engineering workshops in Toronto and Vancouver. The artist also has a B.A. from McGill and a TESL certificate. While teaching in Japan, she was introduced to Japanese traditional book and paper arts. Her artist books have been exhibited in various venues including galleries, libraries and literary festivals. Her commissioned work includes pop-ups, poetry chapbooks and book props for theatre and film. ln 2003, the artist apprenticed with Pierre-S. Tremblay and has since been doing bookbinding with children in elementary schools, libraries and art centres.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Books are things people buy but rarely make. Kate’s first experience making a book was magical and served as her entry point into the world of book arts. Her artist books range from traditional bindings to sculptural book-objects. The artist draws inspiration from historical book structures: from 4th-century Egyptian bindings and medieval pocket books to hornbooks and Victorian toys. She sometimes integrates elements of math and science such as flexagons and magnets. ln her artist books, Kate combines texts resulting from collaborations with writers or poets with her own photos or archival images. Surprise, wonder, secret codes, languages and social commentary are recurring elements in her work. Her approach to creativity is holistic; she sees the finished product as one small part of the process.

Workshop No. 1: The Magic of Paper: Pop-ups!

Each student will have samples of various pop-up structures and one finished pop-up or several pop-ups bound together in a soft cover book. The pop-up can act as a stand-alone 3D artwork, or text can be included—for example, a biography or autobiography, a mystery story, a description of a historical building, a study of an animal, a riddle, or an adventure story.

1. Pre-Workshop

After a conversation with the teacher, the artist will suggest a plan for the workshop based on the age of the children, their interests, the teacher’s curricular objectives, and the length of time for the workshop.

2. The Workshop (one hour, two hours, or one day per group)

Students will learn correct folding, scoring, cutting, and pop-up gluing techniques; the properties of paper; and with more complex pop-ups, the application of geometric notions such as angles.

With dozens of mechanisms to choose from, the artist will begin at a level of difficulty appropriate for the students and guide them through a progression of pop-up and movable structures. These could include the basic parallel fold and v-fold, the pivot, the pull-tab, and the wheel, to name a few.

3. Post-Workshop

The teacher can make further use of the techniques and structures the children have learned by using the pop-up samples as models for projects in various subject areas or for cards for special occasions.

Note: Contact the artist to see additional images of pop-ups and books from past projects.

Workshop No. 2: The Hardcover Book

Each student will have an 8½" × 11" (or 8½" × 8½") hardcover book that he/she created from start to finish. This long-term project is divided into three parts.

1. Participatory Presentation (between 20 and 45 minutes).

This presentation is an opportunity for the artist to meet the students and teacher, explain the steps, answer any questions, and launch the project. At the same time, the specialized papers for the covers and endpapers will be delivered.

The artist will show books made by other children to give students and teachers ideas for the text and illustrations. Tailored to the age group, the presentation can also include basic bookbinding terminology, a discussion about books and technology or the collective creation of a dummy/maquette.

2. Production of the Content (minimum two months—the artist can be contacted by email).

In keeping with the teacher’s curricular objectives and the children’s interests, students will create the content for the books. This process will involve writing, editing, designing, and illustrating. Content could range from individual stories to science or history projects to a collection of the student’s work.

3. Bookbinding Workshop (one full day per class).

With guidance from the artist, the children will use authentic tools and equipment to bind their books. Working in small groups, students will complete the four steps: collating, attaching the endpapers, creating the cover, and casing in.

Note: If Kate Battle is not available, Cécile Côté (also in the Répertoire) can give the same workshop.

Special conditions

For both workshops: a large table in the classroom.

Additional costs:

Workshop No. 1 (The Magic of Paper: Pop-ups!)

$1.00 per student for specialized paper, card stock and glue.

Workshop No. 2 (The Hardcover Book)

$2.50 per student for specialized paper (for covers and endpapers), book board, glue and bookbinding tape. The school supplies a roll of laminating film and regular 8½" × 11" paper.

For information

Phone : 514 270-8833
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



Kindergarten, Primary 1, Primary 2, Primary 3, Primary 4, Primary 5, Primary 6

Available in

In every regions

Other language(s)

French, German, Spanish, ESL

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